Lady Maiko | JFF Plus: Online Festival 2020 Review

A thousand thanks. I beseech your pardon. The pleasure will be mine.

These are three sentences you’ll always hear (or, maybe read is the correct word) the characters say in the film Lady Miko. Honestly, I like it because it’s beautiful to hear like a piece of music. Their language and most importantly the story filled with the colourful melody made Lady Miko, a 2014 musical comedy one of my favourites in the first JFF Plus: Online Festival.

LADY MAIKO (2014)

Maiko was redî (original title)

Director Masayuki Suo – Musical, Comedy

Synopsis – Haruko aspires to become a maiko, and makes her way to Shimohachiken, a geisha quarter in Kyoto. She is accepted for an apprenticeship through the auspices of Kyono, a linguistic scholar who is intrigued by her thick Kagoshima and Tsugaru dialect, and trains furiously to become a fully-fledged maiko.

The Review

I am aware that musicals are not everyone’s cup of tea, and that is okay. Maybe they need to find the right story to appreciate it fully. In Lady Maiko’s case, I 100% enjoyed it.

From the beginning and especially from the moment our main character Haruko Saigo played by Kamishiraishi Mone sang, I knew I had to finish the movie. While doing so, I also couldn’t help but admire everything presented on the screen. 

Everywhere I look, I see beauty. When someone delivers a line, the language draws me in. Read the next lines.

“A maiko’s very essence is defined by her language. The Kyoto dialect is like the whispering of a gentle breeze. It always makes me happy.”

If I remember this correctly, Kyouno Houshi played by Hasegawa Hiroki said these. You may know him from Shin Godzilla and Attack on Titan (film).

Te Amo. Moonlight. Blue Sky.

Their language is indeed music to my ears. So when they sing, all I hear are affectionate melodies. Which reminds me, is there a playlist on Spotify or somewhere? I badly want to listen to all the songs again while I work. If you get the chance to see this film in the next edition of the JFF Plus: Online Festival, do not dare miss it!

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